Something special is on the way!

We all have an ‘inner child’ that doesn’t age with our physical bodies. Like any physical child, our ‘inner child’ needs feeding with positive stories and fantasies. It thrives on positivity. In fact, when the ‘inner child’ is starved of such material, we feel lost, anxious and depressed. Positive fantasies and stories help our spirits soar and reach for the stars. We feel ‘on top of the world’ and content with life. This in turn, casts sunshine on our lives and we then radiate this out to those around us. In other words, the power of our imagination can enrich our lives on a daily basis.


I used to be an avid film fan and visited the cinema at least once a week, but over the past decade, I have only seen a film in a cinema on a couple of occasions. I still check out offerings at the local multiplex but there is never anything of interest. Why? I’m not turned on by violence, gun battles and evil characters in dark stories. Murder, suicide, horror, war and political terror don’t appeal either. As for comic characters, once you have seen one of these films, in my opinion, you have seen them all. The unrelenting explosions, violent confrontations and frantic action are, to me, exhausting and not what I call entertainment.

When I heard “Mary Poppins Returns” was going to be made, I was excited but apprehensive about a rip off re-make. However, this is not the case. It isn’t a re-make but a new story featuring the same characters from the original 1964  “Mary Poppins

Never underestimate the power of your imagination. It can add unbelievable magic to your life.


When I watched the trailer for the first time this week I was deeply impressed by what I saw. In fact, I’m not the only one to watch the trailer. In the first 6 days of publication on YouTube, it was viewed by 7,244,160 people. I was amazed to watch the numerous YouTube clips posted by self claimed film critics. They show their reactions as they each watch the trailer in real time. There were both males and females in these clips, most in their 20s. Without exception, they were blown away by what they saw.

Why should these young film fans be so taken by a traditional fairy tale about a nanny with special powers? Why does Mary Poppins still cast her magic over people who have grown up with the internet and all it offers at any time to everyone in the western world? My answer is the character of Mary Poppins speaks to the inner child in all of us. She offers comfort, support and magic and allows us to accept the world as a magical place and to believe in the power of love and compassion. Even my local radio station played some audio from the “Mary Poppins Returns” trailer. I’ve never heard them do that before for any other movie  – and remember, it’s still a few months away from the movie’s release.


The people at Disney obviously understood the importance of getting this new Mary Pippins movie right. They have certainly assembled a top cast. Julie Andrews gave her blessing to have Emily Blunt play the iconic nanny and from the trailer, I’d agree, Emily makes a perfect Mary Poppins.

Starting as a Broadway dancer then graduating to choreographer in Broadway musicals, Rob Marshall was given the director’s job. Up to now, his biggest director’s gig is “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. He also directed the 2002 movie version of “Chicago”. With experience in staging complex dance moves (Chicago) and dramatic scenes (in the pirate movie), it seems to me, he is a good choice for “Mary Poppins Returns”. Rob has already directed Emily Blunt when he worked with her on “Into the Woods” in 2014. He also directed Meryl Streep in this film and I was excited to see Meryl will also appear in “Mary Poppins Returns”.

English actor, Ben Wishaw, who played ‘Q’ in the James Bond films, “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, is in the cast. He also provided the voice of Paddington Bear in “Paddington” and “Paddington2”. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American composer best known for his role as Alexander Hamilton in the current Broadway hit “Hamilton”. He also composed the music for Disney’s “Moana”.

Julie Walters is one of Britain’s “Grand Dames’ and has appeared in countless films and TV productions since she first stood in front of a camera back in 1975. “Educating Rita” is an iconic piece of British cinema and made Julie a much loved international star, a position she has held since that film was released in 1983.

Colin Firth is another great British actor and won the Academy Award for Best Actor in “The King’s Speech”. He also appeared alongside Julie Walters in the box office musical smash hits, “Mamma Mia” and “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again”.

Another iconic English actress, Angela Lansbury, plays the Balloon Lady. She has appeared in 57 movies spanning 74 years.

The biggest surprise from the trailer was seeing Dick Van Dyke in the cast. Maybe we will see Julie Andrews pop up in the movie too!!!


In an interview with, Rob Marshall said, “PL Travers started writing in 1934 in the middle of the depression, and she wrote about a magical person coming and trying to bring wonder and joy into a family and bring a child-like sensibility to adults. So when Disney came to us with this, it was right at a point in the world where my partner and I were so desperate to do it in order to balance out the world in which we live in now, and we have spent three years working on this film. To live in a world that has hope and escape and fantasy and truth and reality and emotion and all those other things, feels so important right now. In fact, it has become more important each day in this world. And when I approached people like Meryl Streep or Colin Firth to play a role, they jumped on it quickly for the same reasons. I remember Meryl Streep saying, ‘I want to be part of bringing this message to the world now’. This, to me, is a gift to the world now.”


Competing against “Mary Poppins Returns” for the Box Office dollar are other big budget movies but after checking out their trailers, I see they are set in dark worlds and in fact, they seem to trot out the same old story lines. These heavy stories revolve around violence, extreme conflict, revenge and although there is always a resolution in favour of the good guy, the worlds the stories are set in are bleak. Why pay to go to movies like these when I can see all that stuff on the news!  Another thing about these films is the lack of impact they apparently have on their audiences. I have spoken to kids after seeing a blockbuster film of the same ilk and some can’t even remember the name of it an hour after seeing it. That says something!

It appears that no other film release for December and January has the special therapeutic message that Mary Poppins provides. For this reason, I’m predicting this very special movie will blitz the box office. I’m sure I will leave “Mary Poppins Returns” feeling uplifted and happy knowing magic really does exist as long as you believe in it. I know my ‘inner child’ will sing with joy. As the famous nanny tells the Banks family, “everything is possible, even the impossible.”

Apply that advice to your life and see what happens!!

Ceidrik Heward

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